Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is often painted as the stuff of legends -- or an epic ruse destined to waste your time and money.
Let’s take a look at some of the wild claims floating around the internet of things to make some sense of the issues and get to the truth. Below are nine myths about CRM debunked.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the process and system you choose to manage customer relationships. In short, CRM organizes contact information, customer preferences and interactions to help you create a unique experience for each customer—even when you have hundreds.
Whether you choose to use CRM to organize and manage a little or a lot, CRM is a valuable way to improve your customers’ experience. The only way CRM won’t work is if you don’t use it!
CRM is one of the most powerful tools in your ‘toolbox’ of business management strategy—but it’s just one of many that you have. While it will help you create a delightful, and productive experience for your customers, it doesn’t clean windows or empty the trash. Here are just some of the things it will do. CRM can be a simple way to streamline and improve customer communications. It can also manage lead scoring, customized email automation, track marketing and sales. CRM will help you enhance customer relationships by keeping unique information at hand and improve your customers’ experience at scale. CRM unites customer relations, marketing and sales by creating a single source of information.
CRM is your tool to revolutionize the customer experience and increase sales—you’ll still have to find someone to take out the garbage.
You probably could spend a lot of money investing in CRM—but you don’t have to. A variety of CRM systems and tools are available at a range of price points. As a small or even midsize business, look for a system that is simple to use and offers the full functionality needed to grow with you at a competitive price.
Let’s be objective about this one. Any system, whether it's software or hardware, requires a resource investment, either people or money and often both. CRM includes the cost of the system and the person (or people) to manage the system. Consider this a critical investment in a key resource to grow your business.
And if you’re not using CRM, think about the cost of sales you don’t make because of lost contact information, diverted leads and lagging follow-up. Here’s the real question to ask yourself: What’s the cost of not doing CRM?
You may have heard horror stories about implementing a new system or process. Change is challenging for most people and introducing a new CRM means change. Take it one step at a time, set goals for the team. Communicate early and often and provide clear, consistent training and support to help your team manage change.
The beauty of CRM is that it provides a process and system for managing a large volume of customer information—whether you’re one person or a team of people. Adding CRM actually makes it possible for a smaller team to wrangle a lot more data effectively.
Data quality is essential to the success of CRM. Well-trained, experienced people are the key to that success. Establish clear data quality standards and consider dedicated resources (people) to manage the data entry of your CRM.
The old K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, Silly) acronym applies here. The objective of CRM is to help you streamline a large volume of information into a simple, consistent process. Choose a system that is easy to understand then use the system consistently. Avoid the temptation to add unnecessary steps or over-complicate the way your team interacts with CRM.
The reality is that you were probably surviving before CRM but in order to provide excellent customer service as you grow, a system for managing your growing volume of data is critical. You can survive but it may be difficult to thrive without CRM. CRM will position your business for maximum sales growth and delighted customers!
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